Volkswagen drives road safety with the first open-source night driving curriculum
L – R Advocate Johannes Makgatho (Chief Director of Road Transport Regulation, Department of Transport), Ms Refilwe Mongale (Acting Executive Manager: Road Safety Stakeholder Relations Management & Marketing, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTT)), Bridget Harper (Head of Marketing, Volkswagen) Niki Aifantis (Franchisee and Optometrist, Spec-Savers) Ernest North (Co-Founder, Naked Insurance).

Volkswagen, in partnership with its Advanced Driving academy, have developed ‘Night School’, the first open-source night driving safety course. The course was launched on the 19th of October 2023 in Pretoria and opens to the public from the 1st of November 2023. 

South Africa has one of the highest road accident fatality rates in the world, with over 55% of these fatal accidents occurring at night. As such, Volkswagen is taking the lead in the education of the drivers on the challenges and risks associated with night-time driving.

“As a leading passenger car manufacturer, at Volkswagen, we are acutely focused on our ambition of creating safer roads, not only for our drivers, but for all road users including passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and animals,” said Bridget Harpur, Head of Marketing for Volkswagen South Africa. “With over half of our country’s fatal accidents occurring at night, we asked ourselves, then why do we all only learn to drive during the day?” points out Harpur. “Through our Night School curriculum, we are hoping to provide a tangible and effective solution that will help play a part in reducing the country’s night-time road accident statistics and as a result, help save lives,” said Harpur. 

Volkswagen’s road safety initiative encompasses three main aspects: the ongoing innovation of its vehicle safety technologies, driver education and upskilling, and fostering large scale public awareness. 

Volkswagen vehicles are already engineered with a number of advanced safety systems and features such as their IQ.DRIVE with blind spot assist, lane assist, multi-collision brakes and adaptive cruise control. However, Volkswagen believes that driving road safety goes beyond what is under the hood of its vehicles. As such, Volkswagen is taking it a step further to increase driver education and driving skills, especially for night-time driving, when it matters most. 

Through Night School, Volkswagen has developed a comprehensive open-source online curriculum ( that is fully dedicated to night-time driving education and includes learner tests at the end of each chapter. The curriculum is free and accessible to all road users wishing to join their journey towards making South African roads safer. In addition to the online curriculum, Volkswagen’s Advanced Driving academy will also be offering a real-world theoretical and practical course hosted by their experienced defensive driving instructors based at Zwartkops Raceway.

The new addition to their extensive series of driving courses takes a specialised approach aimed to empower attendees with the skills, knowledge, and practical experience on how to navigate the challenges and dangers of driving at night. The curriculum will also provide improved driver confidence and personal safety awareness.

Volkswagen’s Night School curriculum covers a range of night-driving topics from understanding your vehicle, visibility and poor vision, driver fatigue, recklessness, personal safety, weather conditions and a host of factors that compromise a driver’s ability when on the roads after dark. 

Volkswagen has also partnered with other corporates who will support the initiative of steering South Africa towards safer roads. Vision experts, Spec-Savers, as well as Vida e Caffe, will be providing all curriculum graduates with additional rewards for completing the course. 

“To us at Volkswagen, while current road safety statistics are grim, we believe they provide the impetus for action. Statistics are not forecasts. It is imperative to reduce our country’s road fatalities and we believe, through collaborative and transformative efforts, that together we can make a difference,” said Harpur.

Volkswagen has created Night School to join forces with existing initiatives, led by both government agencies and the private sector, with the intended purpose of collaborating to save lives. “We invite, or rather challenge, all South African road users to join us in our goal of creating a safer South Africa by enrolling in Volkswagen’s Night School and we hope the positive learnings from this initiative will be embraced both locally and globally in future driving education strategies,” challenged Harpur. 

Interested people can enroll to Volkswagen’s Night School Curriculum by visiting

Volkswagen is committed to driving safer roads and a safer world for all. Beyond the Drive. #VWNightSchool